If you find yourself feeling anxiety because you are alone on Valentine’s Day, I can understand. I was in a similar place, many years ago. There is a way out. You don't need to be held down or have your world ruled by anxiety symptoms. Take a deep breath and do something different.
The first Valentine’s Day after my marriage ended, I found myself alone. The divorce was to be finalized the next day, on February 15. I felt sad and anxious about the path that my life had taken so far. It hadn’t worked out the way that I had planned it.
I felt familiar stirrings of anxiety welling up inside and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it. Then, I had an idea…an idea that changed my life and how I felt about myself. It was a turning point. I can say, whole heartedly, that this decision was the one that made all the difference.
Choose to Look at Yourself Differently
We all have stories that we tell about ourselves. These stories define the life that we have lived. These stories define the life that we will live, if we don’t change them.
One of the traditional gifts that are given to loved ones on Valentine’s Day is a bouquet of red roses. I had never received that, ever, in my life, from anyone.
That Valentine’s Day, the day before my final divorce papers arrived, I decided to buy myself those flowers….and I did…a beautiful, large bouquet of bright, brilliant red roses, with white baby’s breath scattered through it. It was magnificent and filled the room with its gentle perfume.
Each time I looked at that beautiful arrangement on my dining room table, I felt differently about myself. I felt calmer…I felt peaceful. I took the time to stop and smell the roses…
Was it the flowers that caused me to feel differently? No…it was because I decided that I was worth it…that I deserved to have those roses, even if I had to give them to myself.
The story that I told myself about not getting roses was that I didn’t deserve them. When I made the change in that belief, my new belief became “I deserve roses because I am worth it”. I met the man who was to become my husband the following weekend. He is a man who buys me flowers, often…when you believe that you deserve more, you get more.
What Can You Do to Lessen the Anxiety of Being Alone?
- Focusing on your strengths and writing them down will help you to feel calmer. Remember, you are stronger than you think.
- If you discover any negative beliefs underlying the anxiety, write them down. When you shed light on the negative beliefs, it loosens them.
- When you replace a negative mental picture with a positive mental image for the future, anxiety lessens.
- Exercise; endorphins are good for the brain and you will feel better.
- Treat yourself to the small gestures that you associate with being in a relationship. For me, it was flowers, for others it is a good meal out, a box of Valentine’s chocolates, a walk in the park, watching a movie…it’s all up to you, isn’t it?
Write a Love Letter to Yourself
Do you find it hard to silence the inner critic in your head? Tell it to shut up for Valentine’s Day. It can take a break for the day and it can go on vacation.
Then sit down, in a favorite, quiet place and set a timer for 10 minutes. Think of a time when you felt loved…really and truly loved…and when you think of that time…yes, there was a time …play that mental movie…and…
Write a love letter to you…speak of yourself in glowing terms…imagine that you are writing a letter to the most special person in the world…because you are, you know…special…whether you know it or not.
When the 10 minutes is up, you can go on writing or you can read it…and when you do, if that inner critic comes back from vacation, tell it to shut up or make it sound like a cartoon character…you pick a silly voice and make it softer and slower…
Read that letter out loud and let yourself feel loved. When you allow yourself to feel love, no matter how that happens, anxiety flies out the window…it shrivels up and can’t survive in an atmosphere of love.
Put that letter in a safe place and drag it out when you need it. The secret here is the feelings…access those feelings of love…and watch your life change.
So, if you find yourself alone on Valentine’s Day and feeling anxious, it doesn’t have to be that way. You have the power to choose. You have the power to access feelings of deep love and connectedness with yourself…because you can.
“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner
Image Credit: Muffet
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